Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Time Travel

Going home for the holidays is a mixed bag of emotions. The anticipation of seeing everyone is always shadowed by the thought that all too soon the holiday will be over and it will be back to "normal."

While I have time off between now and the 9th of January, it no longer feels "Christmas-y." I suppose that's because I always enjoy the coming of the holiday, the build up. As each Sunday of Advent passes, one sees more Christmas decorations going up on the homes in the neighborhood and in the downtown area as well. (I don't count the shopping venues, Hell, their decorations go up just after Halloween, if not before. I don't begrudge them their profits and sales, those pay people's wages and the like.)

At any rate, it's almost as if the anticipation of the holiday is better than the holiday itself. But once I'm with my family, Christmas tree glittering in the background, all is well. But as the years go by, there is a shadow in the room.

I remember holidays with my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins in attendance. Many of those folks are gone. Some to other states, other towns, others to a place I cannot follow. At least not yet. I see my brothers and myself aging, and it's not imperceptible anymore. It's becoming obvious! Less hair, and what's left is grey. My mother is not getting any younger either. She's 86. There is a thought hovering just below the surface every time I visit her, I won't voice it, for that would be to acknowledge its presence. But it's there.

My kids are scattered from Virginia to California, such is the way of the world these days. My parents, when we were young, lived within 30 miles of their parents and siblings. Jobs were plentiful, or so it seemed, there was no need to travel hundreds of miles away to find a job. Now there often is. Having kids in the service pulls us further apart geographically. Another thing to consider. Now I know why my parents always bemoaned the fact that they never got to see their grandchildren as often as they wanted.

Me? I'll travel to see them, whenever I can. Still, it's not always possible. But we try.

Content may be light over the next week and a half. I've said before that when blogging becomes a "chore" or "too much like work," then I'd stop. I don't want that to happen over this long holiday, I enjoy doing this, but not at the expense of everything else.

It was mentioned on Christmas Day that I spend "too much time on the computer." So I need to balance things a bit. It's one thing to slap together a post at lunch at my desk, but spending all day writing when The Missus Herself wants to do stuff? I may be slow, I may be lax, but I ain't stupid.

I know which side my bread is buttered on.

R.I.P. Carrie Fisher, you were too young to die. You will be missed...


  1. Chris:

    May 2017 be the best year yet for you and all those you love.

    Paul L. Quandt

  2. It's an uncomfortable thing when your age cohort begins to die off from natural causes. I guess the best medicine is mourn and move on. See and touch and listen and taste and smell the experience for as long as we're here.

    Best wishes in the new year.

    1. Mourn and move on, it's all you really can do.

      Best wishes to you as well.

  3. I second PrairieAdventure's remarks. "Christmas at Grandma's" used to be a grand, noisy, boisterous, multi-generational assembly. At least 30 folks of all ages, from great-grandparents on down. And oh my, the feasts we'd consume. These days, for my family, it's me and my wife, plus our two grown daughters. None of us have seen a large Yuletide gathering in nearly 15 years. And truth be told, those who remain are a pale shadow of what used to be. I know it's the way of all life, but ... darn it.

  4. While I don't go "home for Christmas" anymore, mainly because there's no home up in Oregon to go visit anyway, visiting family up there (in-laws, outlaws, and siblings) can be a bit tiring. I should write about it I suppose, and maybe I will. By the way, I finally caught up on my Chant reading, including commenting on Juvat's movie list. It's like watching my favorite TV shows. I never miss an episode, but it might take me months to see them all.

    1. Hahaha!

      I like going back and reading our old stuff from time to time. It's fun!

    2. Tuna:

      If your family is in the Portland area, when you visit, let me know and I will buy you an adult beverage of your choice.


    3. So if the visit gets tiresome Tuna, you can execute a fighting withdrawal to Paul's place, resupply, then either resume the offensive, er, visit, or fall back into California!

    4. No, my family is in the flyover portion of the state- Southern Oregon- Grants Pass to be specific, but I appreciate the offer. Speaking of flying- I need to do that next trip- 2 days in the car to get there, then 2 to get back is the real tiring part. I used to make it in 12-14 hours, depending on my wife's diet-coke intake, but I'm too risk averse now (tickets), and can't sit that long, so it's spread over a day and a half now. Flying is would alleviate that to a great extent. Just need to take out a second mortgage.


Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)
Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

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